Numerous systems aboard s/v Winterlude simply cannot be tested while in a marina – or even in a crowded mooring field. So we anchor out, make a list, “work” each morning, and play each afternoon & evening.
The two major items on this year’s list included recommissioning our Spectra Catalina 300 watermaker, checking out SailMail/WinLink email access and our Icom M802 … so what happened?
Spectra Catalina 300 Watermaker. Flushed the 2.5 years of old pickling solution out of the membrane and (luckily for us) VOILA! The watermaker works! Unfortunately we have a 12 year old membrane and Spectra says that membranes typically last somewhere around 10-15 years. Recommended PPM (parts per million) for salinity in drinking water is less than 500 PPM. Our watermaker water is registering 391 PPM — a bit higher than the 100-200 we used to get and I’m guessing it’s because our membrane is tired. But a new membrane is $541 and we just spent our annual budget on maintenance so we’ll wait for now. Always something! 🙂 But IT WORKS!!!
Icom M802 SSB After reconnecting the antenna, we fired up the SSB and I sent a test e-mail via SailMail and tried to send another via WinLink. On the WinLink frequencies I’m getting an SWR tuning error, which means somewhere in the grounding system for the antenna in the boat there are corrosion issues – imagine that! But the good news is that SailMail worked fine and we have aboard e-mail! Checking into the Southwest Caribbean Net (8:15 AM EST on frequency 6209), I was able to chat with cruising friends from Bocas Del Toro, Panama as well as Providencia, Colombia! We’ll working on tracing the copper plate grounding system through the boat and cleaning all those connections another time … for now it’s time to go PLAY! 🙂
I LOVE life at anchor!!! Cheers! Jan